NHL Hockey: Teams with the Most Regular-Season Conference Titles
Hey, hockey’s back.
Let’s catch up on some organizational league history – how NHL teams have been divided into divisions and conferences over the years.
First, there was the Founding Era (1917-18 through 1923-24), with three or four Canadian teams in one undivided league. Some franchises folded along the way. Others, like the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs (first as the Arenas and then as the St. Patricks) and Ottawa Senators I survived into the next era and beyond.
The first American team, the Boston Bruins, joined in 1924-25, ushering in what I’ll call the American or Transitionary Era that lasted until 1941-42. During this period there were anywhere from six to 10 teams in the league. The New York Rangers, Chicago Black Hawks (as they were called then) and Detroit Red Wings joined the NHL during this era.
Between 1926-27 and 1937-38 the league was divided into the American and Canadian Divisions, with the teams split up as described, but the American era ended with seven teams in one league, only two of them Canadian – Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Bruins, Rangers, Black Hawks, Red Wings and the New York/Brooklyn Americans, who would fold at the end of 1941-42.
1942-43 began the Original Six Era. The six teams weren’t really “original” (only the Canadiens and Maple Leafs were from the founding era), but these six were the only teams in the one-division NHL for over 20 years – through the 1966-67 season.
Then, came expansion and the Expansion Era. The NHL doubled in size in 1967-68, growing to 12 teams from six the season before, including the Original Six in an East Division and the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, St, Louis Blues, Minnesota North Stars (Dallas Stars), Pittsburgh Penguins and now-defunct Oakland Seals in a West Division.
Another two teams – the Washington Capitals and Kansas City Scouts (New Jersey Devils) were added in 1974-75, the first season the NHL was divided into two conferences (with two divisions apiece) – the Clarence Campbell (or, simply, “Campbell”) and the Prince of Wales (or “Wales”) Conferences.
The Expansion Era, and its eventual 21 teams, lasted through the 1990-91 season. A handful of other teams joined during this era, too, and failed to make it.
Another round of expansion began in the early 1990’s, what I will call the Second Expansion or Modern Era – the current era, from 1991-92 to today.
The San Jose Sharks (1991-92), Tampa Bay Lightning (1992-93), Ottawa Senators II (1992-93), Florida Panthers (1993-94), Anaheim Ducks (1993-94, as the MIghty Ducks of Anaheim), Nashville Predators (1998-99), Atlanta Thrashers (1999-00, Winnipeg Jets II), Minnesota Wild (2000-01) and Columbus Blue Jackets (2000-01) have all been added since 1991-92.
In 1993-94, the conference names were changed to Eastern and Western. In 1998-99, the two-division per conference format gave way to three.
And there you have it.
A long way to go, but some cool information – and also necessary information for today’s post, teams with the most regular-season conference titles.
These are not the conference champs, as determined in the postseason – the two teams in the Stanley Cup. Below are the teams who finished the regular season with the best record in their conference (and thus home-ice advantage in each’s conference playoffs).
Since the expansion of 1967-68, the NHL has seen its fair share of parity. Take a look at all the conference title winners – pretty evenly distributed across most of the league.
But it’s the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers who have had the best record in their respective conferences the most – nine apiece. They’re followed closely by (of course) the Montreal Canadiens with eight.Follow @VinGetz
|TEAM||REGULAR SEASON CONFERENCE TITLES||CONFERENCE||SEASONS|
|1.||Detroit Red Wings||9||Clarence Campbell||1991-92|
|1.||Philadelphia Flyers||9||Clarence Campbell||1974-75|
|Prince of Wales||1984-85|
|Prince of Wales||1985-86|
|Prince of Wales||1986-87|
|3.||Montreal Canadiens||8||Prince of Wales||1975-76|
|Prince of Wales||1976-77|
|Prince of Wales||1977-78|
|Prince of Wales||1978-79|
|Prince of Wales||1980-81|
|Prince of Wales||1987-88|
|Prince of Wales||1988-89|
|4.||Boston Bruins||6||Prince of Wales||1982-83|
|Prince of Wales||1983-84|
|Prince of Wales||1989-90|
|Prince of Wales||1990-91|
|4.||Edmonton Oilers||6||Clarence Campbell||1981-82|
|6.||New Jersey Devils||4||Eastern||1996-97|
|6.||New York Islanders||4||Clarence Campbell||1977-78|
|Prince of Wales||1981-82|
|8.||Buffalo Sabres||3||Prince of Wales||1974-75|
|Prince of Wales||1979-80|
|8.||Calgary Flames||3||Clarence Campbell||1987-88|
|8.||Chicago Blackhawks||3||Clarence Campbell||1990-91|
|8.||New York Rangers||3||Prince of Wales||1991-92|
|14.||Pittsburgh Penguins||2||Prince of Wales||1992-93|
|14.||San Jose Sharks||2||Western||2008-09|
|19.||St. Louis Blues||1||Western||1999-00|
|19.||Tampa Bay Lightning||1||Eastern||2003-04|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||0|
|Los Angeles Kings||0|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||0|
Posted on October 8, 2013, in NHL Hockey and tagged conference, detroit red wings, hockey, List, montreal canadiens, most, nhl, philadelphia flyers, regular, season, teams, titles. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.